This far-ranging collection of public and private sources illuminates a revolutionary half century for American women. The last six decades have been a pivotal period of change and resistance, progress and backlash for American women. From the Hoover vacuum cleaner to the fax machine, the pill to reproductive rights, from Rosie the Riveter to Martha Stewart and Hillary Rodham Clinton American women have grappled with a sometimes dizzying rate of social and economic change and continually shifting conceptions of gender. This collection of documents seeks to chronicle the exciting and tumultuous recent history of American women, beginning with World War II, and the lasting reverberations of the greater employment opportunities for women created by the war effort. Subsequent documents speak to a series of timely topics: the ideas and changes brought about by the women's movement, the challenges to and defense of reproductive rights, the backlash against feminism in the name of family values, and new visions for women's lives in the twenty-first century.
From the European calls for the rights of women to the modern feminist movement, these volumes provide thoughtful analysis of documents and speeches allowing readers to gain a better understanding of the roles, opinions, and changing attitudes of and toward women in world history. An important resource for the history collections of high schools, undergraduate libraries and public libraries.
Over time, sexuality in America has changed dramatically. Frequently redefined and often subject to different systems of regulation, it has been used as a means of control; it has been a way to understand ourselves and others; and it has been at the center of fierce political storms, including some of the most crucial changes in civil rights in the last decade.
"Giardina presents a history of the women's liberation movement that captures the early excitement of collective feminist activity. Grounded in rich details, Giardina's study uncovers how a small group of people generated the ideas and strategies that helped a movement catch fire."--Anne M. Valk, author of Radical Sisters "A fresh and provocative interpretation of the origins of the women's liberation movement. By examining the contributions of African American and white feminist 'founders, ' her work challenges widely held misconceptions about second wave feminism."--Christina Greene, University of Wisconsin In this richly detailed firsthand history of the contemporary Women's Liberation Movement (WLM), scholar-activist Carol Giardina argues against the prevalent belief that the movement grew out of frustrations over the male chauvinism experienced by WLM founders active in the Black Freedom Movement and the New Left. Instead, she contends, it was the ideas, resources, and skills that women gained in these movements that were the new and necessary catalysts for forging the WLM in the 1960s. Giardina uses a focused study of the WLM in Florida to tap into the common theory and history shared by a relatively small band of Women's Liberation founders across the country. Drawing on a wealth of interviews, autobiographical essays, organizational records, and published writings, Freedom for Women brings to light information that has been previously ignored in other secondary accounts about the leadership of African American women in the movement. It also explores activists' roots in other movements on the left. Comprehensive, serendipitous, and carefully formulated, Giardina's work is a vivid portrait of the people and events that shaped radical feminism. Carol Giardina, visiting assistant professor of history at Queen's College in New York, is one of the founders of the modern Women's Liberation Movement.
With Jackie in a pill-box hat and Marilyn crooning to the president, the 1960s opened with women hovering at the fringes of the public imagination—and ended with a feminist movement that outpaced anything NASA could concoct. A compelling story, but did it really happen that way? Unlike many accounts of the era, Impossible to Hold revels in the complexities of female identity and American culture. The collection's sixteen original essays move beyond conventional discussions of hippie chicks and Weatherwomen to examine the diverse lives of women who helped to shape religion, sports, literature, and music, among other aspects of the cultural hodgepodge known as the sixties. From familiar names like Yoko Ono, Carole King, and Joan Baez to lesser-known figures like Anita Caspary and Barbara Deming, the women revealed in Impossible to Hold represent a variety of points on the celebrity and feminist spectrums. The book traces women who sought to break into “male” fields, women whose personae and work link the radical sixties to earlier cultural traditions, and those who consciously confronted power structures and demanded change. Separately and together, their cultural work informed the sixties and their biographies offer a lucid and complex picture of that proverbial “long decade.”
In 1968, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz became a founding member of the early women's liberation movement. Along with a small group of dedicated women, she produced the seminal journal series, No More Fun and Games. Her group, Cell 16 occupied the radical fringe of the growing movement, considered too outspoken and too outrageous by mainstream advocates for women's rights. Dunbar-Ortiz was also a dedicated anti-war activist and organizer throughout the 1960s and 1970s. During the war years she was a fiery, indefatigable public speaker on issues of patriarchy, capitalism, imperialism, and racism. She worked in Cuba with the Venceremos Brigade, and formed associations with other revolutionaries across the spectrum of radical and underground politics, including the SDS, the Weather Underground, the Revolutionary Union, and the African National Congress. But unlike the majority of those in the New Left-young white men from solidly middle-class suburban families-Dunbar-Ortiz grew up poor, female, and part-Indian in rural Oklahoma, and she often found herself at odds not only with the ruling class but also with the Left and with the women's movement. Dunbar-Ortiz's odyssey from dust-bowl poverty to the urban radical fringes of the New Left gives a working-class, feminist perspective on a time and a movement which forever changed American society. "Roxanne Dunbar gives the lie to the myth that all New Left activists of the 60s and 70s were spoiled children of the suburban middle classes. Read this book to find out what are the roots of radicalism-anti-racist, pro-worker, feminist-for a child of working-class Okie background."-Mark Rudd, SDS, Columbia University strike leader Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz is a historian and professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies at California State University, Hayward. She is the author of Red Dirt: Growing up Okie, The Great Sioux Nation, and Roots of Resistance, among other books.
This final volume in the Public Women, Public Words series focuses on what has come to be called the second wave of American feminism. It traces the resurgence of feminism in the late 1960s; reflects the unprecedented range of women's issues taken up by feminists during the 1970s and beyond; and looks toward a third feminist wave for the new millennium.
Women were at the forefront of the civil rights struggle, but their indvidiual stories were rarely heard. Only recently have historians begun to recognize the central role women played in the battle for racial equality. In Sisters in the Struggle, we hear about the unsung heroes of the civil rights movements such as Ella Baker, who helped found the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, Fannie Lou Hamer, a sharecropper who took on segregation in the Democratic party (and won), and Septima Clark, who created a network of "Citizenship Schools" to teach poor Black men and women to read and write and help them to register to vote. We learn of Black women's activism in the Black Panther Party where they fought the police, as well as the entrenched male leadership, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, where the behind-the-scenes work of women kept the organization afloat when it was under siege. It also includes first-person testimonials from the women who made headlines with their courageous resistance to segregation#151;Rosa Parks, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, and Dorothy Height. This collection represents the coming of age of African-American women's history and presents new stories that point the way to future study. Contributors: Bettye Collier-Thomas, Vicki Crawford, Cynthia Griggs Fleming, V. P. Franklin, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Farah Jasmine Griffin, Duchess Harris, Sharon Harley, Dorothy I. Height, Chana Kai Lee, Tracye Matthews, Genna Rae McNeil, Rosa Parks, Barbara Ransby, Jacqueline A. Rouse, Elaine Moore Smith, and Linda Faye Williams.
Gail Collins, New York Times columnist and bestselling author, recounts the astounding revolution in women's lives over the past 50 years, with her usual "sly wit and unfussy style" (People). When Everything Changed begins in 1960, when most American women had to get their husbands' permission to apply for a credit card. It ends in 2008 with Hillary Clinton's historic presidential campaign. This was a time of cataclysmic change, when, after four hundred years, expectations about the lives of American women were smashed in just a generation. A comprehensive mix of oral history and Gail Collins's keen research -- covering politics, fashion, popular culture, economics, sex, families, and work -- When Everything Changed is the definitive book on five crucial decades of progress. The enormous strides made since 1960 include the advent of the birth control pill, the end of "Help Wanted--Male" and "Help Wanted--Female" ads, and the lifting of quotas for women in admission to medical and law schools. Gail Collins describes what has happened in every realm of women's lives, partly through the testimonies of both those who made history and those who simply made their way. Picking up where her highly lauded book America's Women left off, When Everything Changed is a dynamic story, told with the down-to-earth, amusing, and agenda-free tone for which this beloved New York Times columnist is known. Older readers, men and women alike, will be startled as they are reminded of what their lives once were -- "Father Knows Best" and "My Little Margie" on TV; daily weigh-ins for stewardesses; few female professors; no women in the Boston marathon, in combat zones, or in the police department. Younger readers will see their history in a rich new way. It has been an era packed with drama and dreams -- some dashed and others realized beyond anyone's imagining.